Toughie 2934 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2934

Toughie No 2934 by Giovanni

Hints and Tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A fairly typical mid-week Toughie from Giovanni. There are quite a few anagrams to get you started and the words you may not have heard of were all fairly clued.

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1a    Two pounds in supermarket for a slice of meat, in some places (6)
COLLOP Two abbreviations for Pound Sterling inserted into the abbreviated name of a supermarket (which usually has a hyphen in the middle) produce a dialect word (in some places) for a small slice of meat

4a    Culture in which commander and king embrace Hindu music? (4-4)
AGAR-AGAR A jelly used in the culture of bacteria. A Turkish commander and the Latin abbreviation for King ’embrace’ some traditional Hindu music

9a    Beginning anything but a trendy clique? (6)
OUTSET The opposite (anything but) of the usual crossword adverb meaning trendy followed by a clique

10a    Partner in a nest on fire (8)
ANIMATED An informal term for a partner inserted between A (from the clue) and an archaic name for a pheasant’s nest

11a    Incisive projections? (9)
BUCKTEETH Something you’d use to cut or bite (incisive), these ones projecting or sticking out of the mouth more than usual

13a    University little short of a gem (5)
ASTON A university situated in Birmingham city centre. A (from the clue) and a truncated (short) gem

14a    They must be repeatedly smart with sea being rough, these officers? (7-2-4)
MASTERS-AT-ARMS An anagram (being rough) of two lots (repeatedly) of the word smart – so SMART SMART with SEA

17a    RHS chum may net hybridised flowering plant (13)
CHRYSTANTHEMUM An anagram (hybridised) of RHS CHUM MAY NET

21a    Philosopher borders on optimistic, leading academic stream (5)
OCCAM The ‘borders’ on OptimistiC going before (leading) a river in one of our university cities (academic stream)

23a    Noble person will be denied this if buried at sea (9)
LANDGRAVE A German count (noble person) – his title implies that someone buried at sea would not get this type of burial

24a    Article about pub on street being “most deficient” (8)
THINNEST The definite article goes ‘about’ a pub, the result followed with the abbreviation for street

25a    Nothing is cleaner! (6)
VACUUM An empty space or an informal term for a type of cleaner

26a    Defence, brilliant, that is protecting lively man (8)
DEFILADE A slang adjective meaning brilliant and the Latin abbreviation for that is, into which is inserted (protecting) a lively man

27a    Says entrance is denied to clubs (6)
UTTERS The ‘entrance’ or first letter is removed or denied to some golf clubs


1d    Symbol of vote — in short, X — for entertainer (6)
CROSBY Almost all of a symbol of vote and a word used like X is in a multiplication sum

2d    Awfully clear to me that person’s been held up? (9)
LATECOMER An anagram (awfully) of CLEAR TO ME

3d    Play round, then relax with opponents at table (7)
ORESTES A play by Euripides. The ’round’ letter followed by a verb meaning to relax and then the abbreviations for two of the opponents at a bridge table

5d    Information on horrendous king, shah or emperor (7,4)
GENGHIS KHAN The first emperor of the Mogul Empire. A slang word for information goes on (in a Down solution) an anagram (horrendous) of KING SHAH

6d    Violent tirade involving a politician (7)
RAMPANT A tirade into which is inserted (involving) A (from the clue) and an abbreviated politician

7d    Annoyed with rubbish at end of game (3,2)
GOT AT Some rubbish goes after (at the end of) a game of skill for two people

8d    Regret when daughter is hauled in before head for bad behaviour (8)
RUDENESS The abbreviation for daughter is inserted (hauled in) to a synonym for regret, the result put before a headland

12d    Ten leaders I fancy will be given immortal status? (11)
ETERNALISED An anagram (fancy) of TEN LEADERS I

15d    Engineers certain to go after a record again (9)
REMEASURE The abbreviation for the Army’s corps of engineers and a synonym for certain, the latter going after A (from the clue)

16d    Went up and addressed Greek island, performed to entertain it (8)
ACCOSTED A Greek island ‘entertained by’ or inserted into part of a verb meaning performed

18d    Groundbreaking symposium given a change of direction (7)
SEMINAL Change the direction at the end of a symposium or conference

19d    Traveller taking major road, getting charitable donation? (7)
MIGRANT A major UK road and a charitable donation

20d    Herald of the gods or some other messenger? (6)
HERMES Hidden in some otHER MESsenger

22d    Singer who, over the years, changed the face of rock (5)
CLIFF The name of a singer who has changed a lot since he started in the late 1950s; or a high steep rock face


13 comments on “Toughie 2934
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  1. A few unknowns for me but, as CS says, all fairly clued. Thanks to Giovanni and CS.
    The clues I liked best were 11a, 1d (after I’d failed to make my first thought ‘Blobby’ work) and the clever 22d.

  2. I really enjoyed cracking this one. There were a number of new words, all clued in such a way that the answer was gettable, and the long anagrams were particularly helpful to build a good start to the grid. I don’t often pick an anagram as a favourite, but I thought 17a was quite brilliant.

    My thanks to The Don and CS.

  3. Failed on three which isn’t a bad score for me when faced with the Don.
    In fairness, 22d has done a far better job of ageing than most of us!
    Top two here were 23a plus 8d – the latter really made me smile.

    Thanks to Giovanni and to CS for manning the hot seat.

  4. Just enjoyed Giovannie’s excellent puzzle,solved by quarters for some reason,the last being the NW with 1d being a favourite
    together with 23a and16d, liked the repeatedly smart and sea anagram in 14a.
    Going for a ***/****
    Thanks to CS for the blog pics

  5. I picked this up at lunchtime on the iPad (so didn’t know the identity of the setter). Almost put it straight back down again after a quick scan yielded no answers – but then found a route in via the long anagrams. It was then a steady solve until the SE corner. Historically not my favourite setter but I enjoyed this, pleasingly free of obscurities as it was – and the couple of new words were fairly clued. Really liked 25a (suspect this is a golden-oldie but new to me), 13a (my alma mater), 21a and the groan-worthy 22d. LOI, 26a, was bunged in and I’m still not convinced by the parsing: Def = brilliant, lively man = lad? Hmm as Rabbit Dave would write… but, overall, a minor quibble in an otherwise good puzzle.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the blog.

    1. One of the definitions of lad in the BRB is as an informal term for a dashing, high-spirited or extrovert man

  6. A fun puzzle, more approachable than Gio’s usual. My inability to spell 5d caused problems with 10 and 11a, both of which should have been straightforward. Favourites were 1a and 1d. 13a is possibly out of order for non-UK solvers and I think he’s pushing it a bit with 4a but definition apart it’s a decent clue.
    Thanks to Giovanni and to CS.

  7. It’s a Don puzzle, so I was happy from the start – which for me were the four long central anagrams, giving a good basis for tackling the corners. Really good puzzle. Even if there’s not a lot that’s super about that particular store! 26a was new to me but so fairly clued that it could have been nothing else, especially with a few checkers in place.

    Hon mentions to 4a and 23a, with COTD for me going to 25a for the smile factor. 2* / 3*

    Many thanks indeed to Giovanni and to CS.

  8. Except for 1a and 1d, I rather rattled through this engaging Toughie by the Don, whom I always enjoy. Other than 1a, there were no new terms for me, but I think 22d is asking a lot of this old veteran connoisseur of classical and operatic music, though I did know who he is and even his last name. (It might surprise my friends on this blog to realise that he is virtually unheard-of over here.) Favourites: 3d (one of the great tragedies), 26a, & 5d, my first one in. Thanks to CS and Giovanni.

    1. Horses for courses, Robert. I’d never heard of either 26a or 3d but spent much of my young adolescence swooning over 22d! As you’ve said in the past, it’s good that we all have different perspectives.

    2. With the first & last checker in I spent ages trying to justify Oedipus at 3d – have never seen the answer though know of it.

  9. Started this early this morning after the back-pager & came to a grinding halt after 14 answers in. Had a brief glance back at it mid afternoon & no progress but picked it up again this evening & unbelievably the light bulbs came on. Last in was 26a – the word was certainly new to me (as was 1a – having done some shopping earlier in that supermarket) & so was def context. A lot tougher for me than our reviewer’s rating (no surprises there) but fairly clued & a very enjoyable 3 stab head scratcher. Favourite was 21a – wasn’t familiar with the fella but after twigging the borders took a happy punt on the academic stream & Mr G confirmed. Ticks for 1,3&5d amongst a number of others.
    Thanks to the Don & CS

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